Regulation

Editor's picks

Pollution incidents caused by water and sewerage companies plateaued in 2019/20 against an overall drop in the number of incidents a report from the Environment Agency shows. Introducing the report, chief executive James Bevan warned that environmental protection and enhancement will come at a cost.
News
The “volatility and unpredictability” of Transmission Network Use of System charges are inflating renewable costs and undermining the viability of some projects. Andrew Urquhart, head of whole system at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission, tells Utility Week some developers in the north of Scotland have reported having to factor a risk premium of as much as £10/MWh into their business case to reflect the uncertainty. 
News
A High Court judge has overturned the decision last year by then business and energy secretary, Alok Sharma, to award a development consent order for the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm being developed by Vattenfall. The judge said the secretary of state had acted unlawfully by failing to provide adequate justification for declining to consider the cumulative impacts of the onshore infrastructure for Norfolk Vanguard and its 1.8GW sister project, Norfolk Boreas, when granting planning permission for the former.
News

Featured

The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
The publication of John Penrose’s review into the effectiveness of UK regulation could be dismissed as simply another Whitehall shelf-filler. However, David Blackman argues that Penrose’s proximity to the centre of power mean his views are more likely than most to be acted upon. So, what could this mean for utilities?
Comment
The review of system operation announced by the government in its recent energy white paper as well as its ongoing review of code governance, together provide a “golden opportunity to reform these arrangements holistically”, Elexon has a stated in a new paper. The administrator of the Balancing and Settlement Code said reforming gas and electricity system operation and code governance in tandem would allow “once in a generation” changes to be made.
News

Latest in Regulation

Three electricity transmission companies have so far indicated their intention to appeal elements of Ofgem's RIIO2 final determinations. Meanwhile, Cadent Gas is also understood to be referring part of its settlement to the Competition & Markets Authority. With all gas and transmission networks required to respond today (3 March), Utility Week brings you all the latest updates in this live blog.
News
Ovo Energy, Shell Energy Retail and Scottish Power are among 18 suppliers which failed to correctly protect customers’ tariff prices when they decided to switch, Ofgem has announced. After several suppliers self-reported the issue every provider on the market was requested to self-assess their practices, revealing that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
News
The energy sector must learn lessons from the smart meter rollout when implementing technical standards for future smart home energy technologies, industry observers have warned. A recent roundtable hosted by DevicePilot, a service monitoring platform for connected devices, discussed the future of the home energy market, which innovations are set to have the biggest impact and what effect this will have on the UK’s net zero goals. Several attendees reflected on how the smart meter rollout has panned out and offered their thoughts on what can be learned as homes adopt smart technologies.
News
In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, there is continued speculation of appeals to Ofgem’s RIIO2 final determinations by gas and transmission companies. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is reported to be considering selling its stake in Thames Water. There is also coverage of government plans to force energy retailers to switch customers on to lower tariffs.
News
Analysts at Barclays have predicted each of the gas and transmission networks will appeal their final determinations from Ofgem for the RIIO-2 price control. The companies have until 3 March to accept or reject the regulator's decision on their business plans.
News
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has once again extended its deadline to deliver the final redeterminations for the four water companies that appealed Ofwat’s PR19 decisions. It means that gas and transmission networks mulling their own response to Ofgem’s final determinations will not be able to take account of the CMA’s stance on cost of capital.
News
Research by the The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has identified 27.7 million UK adults as having characteristics of vulnerability such as poor health, experiencing negative life events, low financial resilience or low capability. It has set out its view of best practice for firms in dealing with vulnerable customers, which have been supported by trade bodies representing utilities.
News
Portsmouth and Southern will publicly sign their bulk supply agreement today, marking an historic milestone for both companies. Chief executive Bob Taylor talks to Utility Week about how Havant Thicket exemplifies the water-only company's growing role in regional water resource planning.
Interviews
Joachim Brandt, head of electric and autonomous vehicles at Gemserv, calls for Ofgem to lead the way in developing a coherent strategy and strengthened governance regime for electric vehicles.
Opinion
The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
The publication of John Penrose’s review into the effectiveness of UK regulation could be dismissed as simply another Whitehall shelf-filler. However, David Blackman argues that Penrose’s proximity to the centre of power mean his views are more likely than most to be acted upon. So, what could this mean for utilities?
Comment
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